Joey Barton Speaks Out On Mike Ashley, Alan Pardew and The Newcastle Fans
Joey Barton was a guest on Radio 5 Live and predictably Newcastle United was a big topic of conversation.
To say that Barton’s time was ‘interesting’ is a real understatement; relegation, promotion, prison, public criticism of the club owner and eventual paying up of his contract a year early.
Despite all this, Barton is a bit of a cult ‘hero’ figure for many Newcastle fans and whether or not you forgive him for the many ways in which he let the club down in his time here, you have to acknowledge that since leaving, Joey Barton always speaks highly of the the club and fans, defending us from clueless pundits as well as being a constant irritant to Sunderland supporters.
Speaking to Radio 5 Live, Joey Barton spoke about Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew’s relationship;
“All Mike’s concerned about is the Premier League money.
“So if that is jeopardised then Pardew will go. From the information I have, he (Pardew) has a say in who they sign but then it is filtered down massively.
“I don’t think he willl sack Pardew as he is the kind of owner who’s like ‘I’ll show you’. I think he does stuff just to annoy them.”
Barton goes on to relate a story to sum up how deep/petty the relationship between Ashley and the fans ended up becoming;
“When I was there, there was this famous thing of, he released the kit and the fans boycotted buying it from Sports Direct because they didn’t like him. So he put it on sale at St.James’ Park for £55 but on sale in Sports Direct in the Eldon Square Centre, literally 150 metres across the road for £40. Saying, ‘we’ll see if you’ll go in there or not’. That’s the sort of guy he is. His bar bills are a little tasty though. I have seen some of his bar bills.”
As for whether this was Mike Ashley’s motivation we may suspect strongly, though will never know for sure, but what is certainly 100% fact, is that for a long time, prices of all Newcastle United kit were substantially cheaper at Sports Direct than official club shops. Two places where Ashley had total control over what to charge.
Barton then moved on to the understandable frustration of fans with the current situation;
“The Newcastle fans are frustrated, rightly so. He’s just the custodian at the minute and they feel alienated by their own football club.
“The fans are in rebellion – they can’t get Ashley out until a buyer comes along, so the only person they can vent the frustration at is Alan Pardew. I feel he is suffering and the results are making him suffer.”
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